Accused O’Laughlin Killer: I Don’t Understand 'Why I’m Here'
A judge has ordered John L. Wilson to submit to a mental-health examination and has issued a protective order to restrict the release of information outside the courtroom.
John L. Wilson, the man accused of the October 2011 murder of Lyons Township freshman Kelli O’Laughlin repeatedly answered “no” when asked if he understood various facts relating to his case Tuesday, prompting a judge to order him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Associate Judge John J. Hynes asked Wilson if he understood that his attorney, Naperville-based John P. Carroll, is currently appealing a suspension from the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (a status which does not prohibit him from representing Wilson.)
Nearly a dozen times, Wilson responded “no” when asked if he understood this and other statements, both nodding and shaking his head while answering.
“What don’t you understand?” asked the judge after Wilson had replied "no" to a string of questions about his comprehension.
“Why I’m here,” Wilson answered with a shrug.
The only time Wilson answered "yes" to a question during his appearance in a Cook County Fifth Municipal District courtroom Tuesday morning was when the judge asked if he wished to retain Carroll as his attorney.
“I don’t know if this is some type of ruse,” Hynes said. “I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to do at this point.”
State prosecutors Andreano Turano and Guy Lisuzzo said there is currently little evidence Wilson is mentally ill, but, along with Carroll and Hynes, agreed to the decision to remand Wilson to the Cook County Sheriff for an examination of his mental fitness to stand trial.
The Chicago Tribune reported in November that Wilson has a self-contradictory mental health record and that while he has claimed to have received psychiatric help since childhood, he also has acknowledged “doing crazy stuff to get out of the cell.”
Wilson was found fit for trial in 2003, when he was sentenced to 11 years for robbing a school/place of worship. He had been on parole less than a year when police say he stabbed Kelli O’Laughlin to death in her Indian Head Park home.
Both prosecuting and defense attorneys also agreed to the signing of a protective order submitted by the prosecution, designed to restrict the release of sensitive information to outside parties.
Among other things, the order bars attorneys and others involved with the case from releasing evidence or witness/victim information to any third party, and prohibits them from making statements about the “content, nature, substance or effect of any extrajudicial report, document, testimony or evidence.”
The prosecution’s filing for the protective order cited that the Indian Head Park Police Department has received a Freedom of Information Act request for 911 calls, video and police documents related to the murder investigation. Under the protective order, FOIA requests can be denied.
Wilson's next court date is scheduled for April 23. He is charged in a 31-count felony indictment, including charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated unlawful restraint and home invasion.